Monday, 6 December 2010

Walk in the cold

The cold goes on.  Indeed last night felt like the coldest yet of this spell.  Filling up the bird feeders it was the first time they were covered in frost.

I took a walk up our lane to my neighbours Rob and Biddy's farm and hiked through ice covered fields.  After leaving the farm buildings where there were hoards of Starlings and a Nuthatch on an array of feeders I moved along a hedge line and immediately flushed a Woodcock which towered away only to land again behind the farmhouse.  Continuing my route I soon flushed a Snipe as well.  I was by now astonished to see that most ditches and streams were running noisily and not frozen as I expected.

Moving on I was conscious of the continous calling of Ravens and to a lesser extent Buzzards.  I wondered if this was because of their need for food.  Coming to another gate I flushed another Woodcock which this time dropped down into the wooded valley.  I was astonished to learn recently that hoardes of foreign hunters pay to come to the UK to hunt Woodcock and Snipe.  I must say I find that unnecessary particularly in such hard weather.

Reaching the highest point by a small road I looked across at the Black Mountain covered in snow and thought how cold it must be up there at over 2,000 feet.

I walked back through our village where a few Redwings picked around for food and a Marsh Tit called from a copse before I returned home glowing from the warm clothing and a the bright, sunny but cold weather.

Some good news today in the garden - a female Siskin with the Goldfinches on the niger seed feeder.

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